Next Wave International Next Wave International™ is a faith-based communications group which is
training organizations to engage the future & move society forward
in a positive direction. Founder / Director: Mal Fletcher

A Life Of Self-Denial

26 September 2021 Print version    PDA version    
2 Samuel 6:14-15 'David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.' (NIV)

I remember the first time I ever raised my hands to worship in church. I was a teenager, sitting with my friends at the back of the small wooden building. From that vantage point we used to chuckle at the hats the old ladies wore and generally heckle each other. This particular morning the Lord heckled me. We were in the middle of a song when I felt a very strong impulse to raise my hands. Being the coward that I am I kept them firmly by my side. The still small voice inside said: 'I thought you said you loved me.' 'I do,' I replied mentally. 'Then why can't you express it?' The impression was so strong that I eventually lifted those hands to chest height, then slowly to head level, then all the way up, as if someone had put a gun in my back. That small act set me free from a binding sense of self-consciousness. I've never had a problem with my hands since. Self-denial is liberating. David knew this. In his time, it was common for a court jester to walk before the king in any royal procession through the streets. His job was to make the people feel good about their monarch, so that by the time he'd finished with them they'd be singing the king's praises even if they were being taxed to the hilt. On the day David danced before the ark, he recognized that the real King of Israel was her God. For one day he stepped down from his throne and took the place of court jester. He laughed and the people laughed with him. He sang his latest psalms and the crowds joined in on the chorus. He led not just with enthusiasm but also with self-denial and God loved him for it.

Prayer: Father, help me to live a life of self-denial, of joyfully putting your glory before my own interests or fears. Like David, I want you to smile on me because I'm not afraid to express my love for you.'

© 2003-2004 Mal Fletcher


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